Friday, March 31, 2023

A PROMISE FULFILLED by Author Peggy Jaeger, Book #4 in the Ghosts of New England: Last Light Point Anthology

Welcome back to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today, we're celebrating the fourth and final complete novel contained in the new paranormal anthology, Ghosts of New England: Last Light Point. We finished up with, A Promise Fulfilled, by best selling author, Peggy Jaeger.

Late October, Present Day

After winning millions in a national lottery, local librarian Daisy Morgan sets out to revitalize the infamous Crow’s Nest Tavern. After saving the historic inn from the auction block, Daisy begins a major renovation only to discover some hidden secrets – and a few unearthly spirits – tied to the tavern’s history.

Writer Keegan Warren arrives to do a story on the revitalization of the tavern weeks before the grand re-opening. Keegan’s got a few secrets of his own about why he wanted the assignment – secrets that unfold no matter how diligently he tries to keep them hidden.

With Daisy’s help, he unearths a centuries old murder tied to his family’s past. As they investigate, their mutual attraction grows. But will their budding relationship suffer when the truth is discovered?

Available everywhere through Books2Read
Also available in PRINT

At her cry, Damien stopped inspecting the wall and shot to her side right before Keegan fell to the floor. Together, they caught him – just barely – and lowered him gently onto his back. Daisy cradled his head on her thighs as she sat back on her haunches.

“Should I call 9-1-1?” Damien asked.

“Hang on a sec,” she told him.

Gently, she called Keegan’s name a few times and watched as he slowly regained consciousness one eye flutter at a time.

After a few more rapid blinks, he focused in on her face, his eyes now opened wide.

“What-what happened?”

“You fainted.”

His gaze searched her face, his mouth falling open to a stunned O. “I’ve never passed out in my life.”

With a careful shrug, she said, “First time for everything.”

Clarity returned to his eyes at the same moment he realized his head was cradled in her lap. Even in the murky lighting of the basement she could tell his ears had turned red, his high cheeks following.

On a jagged breath, Keegan shot his hands behind him as he pushed up to a sitting position. His entire body shook like he’d just come in from the cold wearing nothing but skin.

Shoving with his heels, he crab walked away from her, furtively glancing around as if searching for something. His gaze fell on Damien, then he stretched up to look behind the man.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

He pushed to stand, all the while turning his head back and forth, his gaze running around the basement.

“What are you looking for?” Damien asked.

“Did you see…I mean…I thought…there was…are we the only ones down here?”

It was Damien who nodded this time.

“I swore…you didn’t see…hear…anyone?”

“Come on,” Daisy said, frowning. “Let’s get you back upstairs.” To the engineer she asked, “You done?”

“Give me a few minutes. I want to check a few things before I give you my opinion.”

“Come find me.”

She debated helping Keegan walk up the staircase. The flash that sparked in her hand when she’d touched him before he fainted still stung.

Best not to take the chance it’ll happen again.

She held out her hand for him to go up ahead of her. He held on tightly to the handrail as he slowly made his way back to the ground level.

Once they were back in the bright light of the taproom his pallor was even more noticeable. “Sit down.” She all but pushed him into one of the empty chairs. “When did you eat last?”

“Eat?” He shook his head a few more times, then stared down at his still-shaking hands. “I went through a fast-food drive-thru. About six, when I got on the road. Why?”

She glanced down at her I-watch. “It’s after one now. Maybe that’s why you fainted. I always feel faint when I go long stretches between meals. Let’s get you something to eat.”

Moving toward the back of the bar and then through the double swing doors into the commercial kitchen, she didn’t even wait to see if he’d follow her.

“Sit down,” she repeated when she saw him leaning against a wall in the kitchen.

Without a word, he did as he was told.

PEGGY JAEGER writes contemporary romances and rom coms about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all aspects of life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness, and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!" You can out more about Peggy, as well as her social media links, at

Thank you so much for stopping by this week to take a sneak peek at all four of the wonderful stories contained in this anthology.

To help us celebrate the release of Last Light Point, the first book in the series, Ghosts of New England: Skullery Bay, is on sale everywhere through Books2Read

~ ~ ~
Thank you so much for stopping by. We hope to see you again soon.


Thursday, March 30, 2023

FOR THE LOVE OF GRACE by Author Nancy Fraser, Book #3 in the Ghosts of New England: Last Light Point Anthology


Welcome back to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today, we're celebrating the third of four complete novels contained in the new paranormal anthology, Ghosts of New England: Last Light Point. We continue with, For the Love of Grace, by best selling author, Nancy Fraser.

Early Autumn, 1941

Grace O’Hearn and her father have lived in Last Light Point since before the ’29 stock market crash that took so much from so many. Still, somehow, they managed to keep afloat, often lending a hand to those in dire need.

Now—many years later—things are finally picking up again. So much so, the tavern is a much-coveted piece of property. When Grace’s father is brutally murdered, the main suspect is a property developer who’s been harassing all the waterfront proprietors. With his death, Grace now becomes the sole owner of The Crowe's Nest Tavern--an establishment that dates back centuries, and comes with its own set of resident ghosts.

When FBI agent, Max Stewart, is assigned to investigate suspected racketeering and police corruption in Last Light Point, the last thing he expects is to be caught up in a murder investigation. When he first meets Grace, he’s convinced she’s hiding something. Yet, her keen insight about the town, and everyone in it, may be the best lead he has.

Can they work together to solve both investigations? Or, will an attraction neither of them professes to want keep getting in the way?

Available everywhere through Books2Read
Also available in PRINT

She was about to remind the two men she was busy, as a way to get them to leave, when a faint breeze blew across the nape of her neck. A gentle hand settled on her shoulder.

His shoes. Check out his shoes.’ Her father’s voice echoed through her subconscious, and Grace dropped her gaze to the floor.

Garrett Parker, Barkley’s new head of security, was wearing wingtips. Brown and white wingtips. Her pulse picked up tempo. The urge to lunge at the man who had likely killed her father was staunched only by the weight of his hand on her shoulder.

Not now, Gracie-girl. Think this through first.’

“Gentlemen,” she said, as calmly as her anger would allow. “While I won’t go so far as to say it was a pleasure, I’m very busy and would appreciate it if you could leave me to my work.”

“Certainly,” Detective Mitchell said. “We’ll be on our way.”

“Unless, of course,” Parker interrupted, the curl of his lip reigniting Grace’s anger. “The G-man has more questions for me.”

Max pushed himself to his feet, meeting Parker’s gaze head on. “Only one, Parker. I assume you have all the necessary permits for that revolver you carry in the waistband of your trousers. Correct?”

“Of course, I do,” Parker sneered.

“And, the snub nose in your ankle holster?”

“You’re very observant, Mr. Stewart,” Mitchell commented. “I’ve already confirmed his permits, so you’ve nothing to worry about.”

Grace’s gaze widened when Max shucked out of his suit coat, revealing a leather holster and the gun it held at his side.

“That’s good,” Max responded smoothly. “I’d hate to think there was a reason for things to get nasty.”

“Calm down, Stewart,” Mitchell said. “We’re not looking for trouble.”

Once Mitchell and Parker had taken their leave, Grace turned her attention fully to where Max was slipping back into his jacket.

“You carry a gun?”

“Yes, of course. It’s a requirement of the job.”

“Perhaps, you should finish what you began before those two jerks came into my tavern. Something about ‘not being totally honest’ I believe you said.”

“How about we get some fresh coffee, and invite Aggie to join us? There’s no sense having to repeat myself.”

Aggie appeared moments later, a pot of coffee in one hand, a plate of scones and butter in the other. “I’m not sure why you’re needing to talk to me, but here I am.” After plunking herself down on the chair next to Grace, she added, “Don’t be expecting those cabinets to clean themselves while I’m out here.”

“Don’t worry, Aggie,” Max told her. “I’ll lend a hand if you need me to.”

Grace purposely narrowed her gaze in Max’s direction, and prompted, “So. Talk.”

“I wasn’t being totally upfront when I said I came to Last Light Point to check on the cargo ships docking here,” he began. “I’m not some health inspector. I work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as an agent.”

“The FBI? Jeepers,” Aggie exclaimed. “Like the fellas who took down Capone?”

“Yes, that FBI,” Max confirmed. “I was sent to Last Light Point to investigate smuggling, money laundering, and corruption within the local police force.” He pulled in a breath, and added, “One of the names at the top of our suspect list was your father, Harold O’Hearn. It’s one of the reasons I came here to get a room. I assumed I’d be dealing with him.”

“My father never did any of those things,” Grace insisted vehemently. “He was a good man.”

“Yes, I can see that now. The things you’ve told me about him, as well as what others here in Last Light Point have said about your father, convinced me we were looking in the wrong direction from the get-go. My focus now is strictly on Devon Barkley, Detective Mitchell, and now this new fellow, Parker.”

“Parker killed my father,” Grace blurted out.

“Exactly how did you come to that conclusion after meeting him only once?” Max asked.

“He was wearing wingtips,” Grace continued, although regretted the nonsensical comment the moment she made it.

“Just like Har... um...” Aggie stumbled. “Just like we... oh, heaven forbid, I’ve run my mouth, haven’t I?”

Max’s eyes widened. A look of confusion furrowed his thick brows. “Someone witnessed your father’s murder? And, you’ve not said anything?”

“Not exactly,” Grace hedged. “It was my father. He told me the man who shot him was wearing a mask so he couldn’t see his face, but he was wearing brown and white wingtip shoes.”

“Your father? The dead man? Was it something he said to you in the throes of death?”

Grace met his gaze, and shook her head. “I suppose, given you were honest about who you really are and what you’re doing here, I owe you the same courtesy.”

“Honesty is always appreciated in my line of work, Grace.”

Before Grace could begin what was likely to be an extremely awkward conversation, Aggie rushed to her feet. “Be right back,” she mumbled.

“Where are you going?” Grace asked.

“To the bar. If we’re about to open up this can of dead worms, I need something stronger than coffee. I’ll bring the bottle, and three shot glasses.”

Max’s deep chuckle relieved some of the tension settling around the table. “Does she drink often?”

“Not really. I think I’ve only seen her imbibe once or twice since I’ve known her, and only on special occasions.”

When Aggie returned with the two-hundred-year-old bottle of scotch and three glasses, Max said, “I thought we weren’t supposed to touch that bottle.”

Aggie shrugged. “Don’t worry none. The spirits will refill it by morning. Assuming we don’t get totally potted and drink the entire bottle.” Blowing out a long breath, Aggie added, “Then, we’d be in for it, for sure.”

“I don’t think we should,” Grace warned, shooting Aggie a stern look.

“Oh, pish sha, Grace. Your pa and I used to take a nip from the pirate’s bottle every now and again. Simon and the others never failed to follow through on refilling it. I remember your uncle once telling me about how, sometime in the mid-1800s, the bottle was stolen, and nearly emptied before it was found and returned to the tavern. Next morning, sure as I’m sitting here, it was full up again.”

Max took the bottle from Aggie’s grasp and removed the cap before pouring them each a shot of the warm, amber liquid. “If you two are going to start spinning some wild tales about ghosts, and pirates, and some magical bottle of hooch, I’m going to need at least one of these. Maybe more.”

Her spicy romances have won top awards year after year and received cover quotes from some of the most recognized names in the romance industry. Nancy was named Top Canadian Author for 2021 by N.N. Lights Book Heaven.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people. You can all of Nancy's steamier books on BookBub.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Please come back again tomorrow when we'll feature A Promise Fulfilled by author Peggy Jaeger, the final book in the anthology.


Wednesday, March 29, 2023

SMOKE AND MIRRORS by Author Kathryn Hills, Book #2 in the Ghosts of New England: Last Light Point Anthology

Welcome back to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today, we're celebrating the second of four complete novels contained in the new paranormal anthology, Ghosts of New England: Last Light Point. We continue with, Smoke and Mirrors, by best selling author, Kathryn Hills.

Sometimes when you knock on heaven’s door. . .the dead answer back.

Autumn, 1867

Willow Pinch lives life on a razor’s edge in world of deception and disguise. By day she hides in plain sight as Will, a servant boy. Nights are spent as a table knocker, aiding so-called spiritualists in duping townsfolk into believing loved ones speak from the grave. That is until the ghosts of Last Light Point unmask her before the only man she’s ever cared for. Dare she trust Morgan Blackwell with her secrets?

Morgan invests every hard-earned penny in The Crowe’s Nest. He doesn’t trust strangers. Yet the last thing he expects are charlatans hell-bent on destroying his reputation with so-called séances. Not to mention there are ghosts in his tavern now! Be damned, must he turn his back on the infuriating woman he longs to protect?

Will the dead of Last Light Point guide Willow and Morgan to lasting love? Or will the dark forces they’ve unleashed lead to ruin?

Available everywhere through Books2Read
Also available in PRINT

"Good day to you, Mrs. Thornsby,” Morgan said in a brusque manner to the woman holding court in his taproom. Gertrude had risen late, presumably languishing in bed, while her servant boy and husband hauled boxes in from their covered wagon. Now she broke her fast with a banquet fit for a queen.

“Good morning, indeed, Mr. Blackwell. A fine day, it promises to be. Thank you for such lovely accommodations. Your cook is quite good, considering we’re in a small town such as Last Light Point.”

Morgan hmphed his annoyance, finding it impossible to even fake niceties for the annoying woman. “It’s true. Widow Marsh does a fine job. I’m grateful for her help. Although…she’s not typically so generous with her portions.”

The overly plump pigeon of a woman dabbed at pursed lips before setting a linen napkin aside. “Betsy told me you are planning improvements to The Crowe’s Nest. Renovating the upper rooms to create a real inn. Offering an expanded menu here in the taproom. Although I cannot see why,” she said haughtily. “You should stick to what you do best. Serve ale to brash men.”

“Is that so?” Morgan struggled not to engage with her. “And Betsy, is it?” He cocked a brow, scowling at the linens on the table. “I see she’s given you our very finest. Things purchased to be used once the renovations are completed. Not before.”

Gertrude sipped tea as if unaware of his ire. “We’ve become fast friends. Betsy told me everything about her late husband and two sons. Died fighting in the war between the states. Poor dear. A defenseless woman left all alone during such hard times. We ladies need to stick together. I told her I might offer some small comfort by way of reaching out to them for her. If she’d reserve a space at one of my séances.”

“Did you now?” Morgan gave a humorless laugh as suspicion coiled in his gut.

Roland Thornsby arrived with the lad just then, wrestling a large, flat crate inside. “Put your back into it, boy,” he barked at Will.

Morgan watched as a flicker of hatred crossed the skinny boy’s face right before he dropped the heavy thing on the older man’s foot.

“Ouch, me bloody foot,” he cried out in pain. “I think you crushed my blasted toes, you little turd.” Roland reached for the lad. “I’m going to make you bleed for this.”

“Hey, none of that in my place,” Morgan bellowed. He positioned himself between Will and the angry man. “Accidents happen. Perhaps you should be asking a man to help you with such a heavy load. Not some half-starved kid with barely a muscle.”

Gertrude was out of her seat in an instant, and she twined her arms around her husband, as if to protect him. “No harm done, Roland, my darling. I can assure you, Mr. Blackwell, Will is not starving. We feed the boy well. He’s just in that awkward growing stage. Nothing sticks to his bones. He’ll probably shoot up like a weed tomorrow.”

She laughed, the irritating, high-pitched sound grating on Morgan’s last nerve. His gaze flipped from her to the crate on his floor. “What’s in that thing, anyway?”

Gertrude left Roland and sidled up to him instead. She tugged Morgan down by the collar of his shirt to whisper in his ear. “A mirror. A very special mirror. One I’m quite proud of. But don’t tell anyone. It’s a secret. I’m going to use it tonight and surprise my sitters. Then everyone will know. People will talk. They won’t be able to contain themselves.”

Hauntingly romantic… Unless she’s writing sweet!

KATHRYN HILLS - The rich history and many mysteries of New England are the perfect backdrop for many of Kathryn’s books. Winding roads lined by old stone walls, forgotten cemeteries, grand homes with shadowy pasts...all sparks for her imagination. Whether it’s a quaint seaside town or the vibrant city of Boston, it’s easy for this “hauntingly romantic” author to envision the past mingling with the present. No surprise, some of Kathryn’s favorite stories include ghosts! Sprinkle in some magic, and you’re off on a great adventure.

When not writing, this best-selling author is reading, researching, gardening, or cooking up something special in her chaotic kitchen. She shares her colonial home in the north woods with those she loves most – her wonderful husband, daughter, and three crazy dogs.

Find links to Kathryn's books, social media, and much, much more at

Thank you so much for stopping by. Please come back again tomorrow when we'll feature For the Love of Grace by author Nancy Fraser, book 3 in the anthology.


Tuesday, March 28, 2023

THE PIRATE'S PROMISE by Author Lisa A. Olech, Book #1 in the Ghosts of New England: Last Light Point Anthology

Welcome back to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today, we're celebrating the first of four complete novels contained in the new paranormal anthology, Ghosts of New England: Last Light Point. We begin with, The Pirate's Promise, by RITA-nominated, best selling author, Lisa A. Olech.

Autumn, 1728

The Crowe’s Nest Tavern was located in a very fortuitous place. If you were condemned to hang in Execution Square, they were your last stop!

Everly Crowe along with her father and two sisters ran The Crowe’s Nest Tavern that was rumored to be slightly haunted, although Everly never believed in such foolishness….until she did.

John Beckett was a pirate, or not. Forced upon the account, he’d lost his belief in a lot of things before he caught the eye of a bonny serving lass who was fierce enough to go toe to boot with his captor and captain, Bartholomew Jacques.

Jacques held a note on the tavern and tormented Everly and her family as he terrorized all the small towns up and down the coast. But even his threats and deceit couldn’t keep Everly and John from promising themselves to each other, ‘till death they do part. After Jacques and his crew are captured and sent to the gallows, Everly learns that those fateful words have little meaning when love is forever.

Available everywhere through Books2Read
Also available in PRINT

Everly Crowe removed the man’s dish from before him. If she’d not been the one to fill his plate and serve him, she would have thought him unfed. Had he licked the plate clean?

“Fer a last meal, lass, t’was fit fer a king. Course, if I be a king, wouldn’t be sittin’ here waiting te die.”

“I’m glad you liked it.” Everly snuck a look at the pair of guards standing by the door before producing a bottle from the folds of her skirts and topping off the man’s mug. “Drink up. Time’s short,” she whispered.

He nodded and took a large swallow. “I’m no murderer, ye ken. They’re seeing fit te hang an innocent man.”

“Most sitting in your chair say the same.”

“I swear.” He placed a hand over his heart. “I never touched the bastard.”

“Yer fist prints were decorating his face.” She lifted a shoulder and shook her head.

“That dinna mean I killed ‘im.”

The man they called Wembley drained his mug and pushed it back toward her, his eyes pleading with her for a refill. She obliged, once more hiding the bottle out of sight of the guards. “Fool tripped over his own buckles. Cracked his skull all on his own.”

Everly tipped her head toward the door. “They don’t believe that.”

“I’m no saint. Found meself on the wrong side of things more than most. Maybe hangin’ be just payment fer that, but I swear on my sweet mother’s life, I dinna kill no one. Ya need ta believe me.” Wembley’s hand shook as he reached for his drink. His voice dropped to a desperate whisper. “Need someone te believe me.”

She placed a hand on his shoulder. “I believe you. But it won’t change anything.”

“I ken, I ken, but it means somethin’ te me.” He hung his head.

Everly moved to stow his plate away behind the bar and traded the bottle she held for another. Her father worked at the bung on a fresh hogshead of ale. He coughed before shaking his head at her. “Don’t be buying his sob story.”

“The man will be dead in half an hour. What difference does it make?”

Her father jutted his chin in the direction of the bottle. “The difference tween a shillin’ an’ a pound.”

“Take it out of my wages.” Pulling the cork, she returned to the man’s table and sat with him.

“Here.” She splashed a healthy dose of fine French brandy into the man’s mug. “An innocent man deserves to drink something better.”

“Maybe I’m already hung, and yer a bloody angel.” He looked at her with glistening eyes.

Everly shook her head. “Heaven has cleaner floors.” She poured him some more brandy. 

“Hope I don’t piss meself,” he mumbled into his cup.

“You won’t know if you do.”

He gave a quick bark of laughter. “Guess not.”

“You’ll do fine. Men bigger and stronger than you’ve sat in that very same chair and cried like babes.”

“Will ye be watchin’?”

“No.” She stood. “I’m not like that crowd out there. Don’t think watching a man die is fit entertainment.”

“Shame. Would like yer bonny face as the last thing I see.”

“That, I can’t do.” Everly patted his shoulder. “I can just get you pissed enough, you won’t care.” She added a last measure of brandy to his cup.

LISA A. OLECH is the author of both the contemporary and historical romance. She uses witty dialog with a side order of sexy to bring to life multi-faceted, adventurous, smoldering characters you’ll not soon forget.

A former member of RWA and NHRWA, Lisa is a 2018 RITA Award nominee for her book, Within A Captain’s Soul, the final book in her Captains of the Scarlet Night series. She’s won a variety of writing contests and achieved the ranks of Amazon Best Seller with her debut book in 2014.

As an author, artist, Justice of the Peace, and aspiring beekeeper, Lisa finds true inspiration in the beauty and love that surround her. And, she takes full credit that three homes on her quiet New England street now proudly fly a Jolly Roger from their flagpoles.

Find links to her books, social media, and much, much more at

Thank you so much for stopping by. Please come back again tomorrow when we'll feature Smoke and Mirrors by author Kathryn Hills. Book 2 in the anthology.


Monday, March 27, 2023

Ghosts of New England: Last Light Point by Authors Lisa A. Olech, Kathryn Hills, Nancy Fraser, and Peggy Jaeger **Book Birthday Week**

Welcome to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. All this week we're featuring the paranormal anthology, Ghosts of New England: Last Light Point, Book 2 in the Ghosts of New England series. Today, we'll begin with the overview of the entire anthology. Then, beginning tomorrow through Friday, we'll feature each of the four complete paranormal romance novels.


A Multi-Century Romance Anthology

 from Best Selling & Award Winning Authors

Lisa A. Olech

Kathryn Hills

Nancy Fraser

Peggy Jaeger

 Can true love conquer a deadly curse?

Don’t look at the gibbet… Legend has it that disaster will strike all those who do. The townspeople of Last Light Point have come to respect the centuries-old advice. Those that didn’t, paid the price.

4 stories – 4 time periods – 1 very haunted tavern in New England!

A new romance anthology unlike any other from 4 best-selling and award-winning authors.

·         The Pirate’s Promise by Lisa A. Olech (Autumn 1728)

·         Smoke and Mirrors by Kathryn Hills (Autumn 1867)

·         For the Love of Grace by Nancy Fraser (Fall 1941)

·         A Promise Fulfilled by Peggy Jaeger (Late October, Present Day)

Available everywhere through Books2Read

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To help us celebrate the release of Last Light Point, the first book in the series, Ghosts of New England: Skullery Bay, is on sale everywhere through Books2Read

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Please come back tomorrow when we'll be taking a closer look at the first book in the new anthology,
The Pirate's Promise, by author Lisa A. Olech.


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The Doc's Holiday Homecoming by Author Virginia McCullough **Book Blast** *Review*

Welcome to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today, we are pleased to welcome author Virginia McCullough and her new Harlequin Heartwarming release, The Doc's Holiday Homecoming. This is the second book in Virginia's Back to Adelaide Creek series. You can find all the stops on this tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Also, don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter drawing for your chance to win a $50 Esty gift card. The entry form is at the bottom of the post.

GENRE: Sweet Contemporary Romance
Could her closed heart…
Still have room for him?

Olivia Donoghue’s life has turned a corner. The radiologist’s eleven-year-old daughter is finally healthy, and she just moved to her best friend’s dreamy hometown of Adelaide Creek, Wyoming. If only her friend’s prodigal brother, Jeff Stanhope, wasn’t complicating matters. It's clear Jeff's kindness knows no bounds, having taken in his late roommate's teenage son and also offering her a cabin to stay in, but Olivia’s heart is already full…and safe. Is the former rancher worth the risk?

Also available in Print

TALK ABOUT A first impression gone wrong. Please, give her the previous five minutes back and Olivia would start over and do much, much better. As she watched Jeff walk away, she resolved that from now on she’d watch her tongue when it came to his relationship with Heather. As was only right, she’d leave that to the two of them. At the same time, she might have known Jillian would plunge right into a conversation with Jeff about horses. In her daughter’s mind, Heather’s legendary horse-loving brother was a kindred spirit. Maybe it was inevitable that Jillian end up a girl devoted to horses and riding, but not when her body was still recovering from the effects of chemotherapy. Even if the assault to her body wasn’t obvious to the untrained eye, Olivia had absorbed almost too much information about what chemo could do to a child.

Then there was Jeff himself. Olivia had seen photos and even his mother’s paintings of him done over a period of years. No way had those images prepared Olivia for the real guy. They hadn’t done him justice, not even close. He had a presence about him that went beyond his thick dark hair and deep-set eyes that brought to mind luscious dark chocolate. With his wide shoulders and muscular arms, he had a body sculpted by the physical work of ranching or more recently, crewing on trawlers and freighters.

Olivia had expected him to be more as Heather described him, still hardened and bitter about losing his family’s legacy, this very ranch. If those old feelings were still a part of Jeff, he wasn’t showing them at the moment. At least not today, and not with Carson nearby. Whatever. It wasn’t her job to analyze any of this. His feelings about this ranch and his former home were completely irrelevant. She had formed an opinion that would guide all her dealings with the man. No matter how friendly, even charming Jeff Stanhope might be, he was a runner. A man who ran away from anything that smacked of responsibility. Like her dad. And Jillian’s father. She didn’t need a third runner messing up her life.


Given the introduction to our characters was in such a sad way (e.g., cancer, death of a mother), The Doc's Holiday Homecoming could have turned into a very morose story. Yet, the author fills the pages with hope, kindness, and... eventually... love. The trope is not a new one. However, it gained new life as we experienced the trials both Olivia and her daugther, and Jeff and his step-child, went through to get to where they are, and why they came back to Adelaide Creek.

For the most part, the supporting characters added a lot to the story. I could have done without Olivia's creepy boss. He was there, and then he was gone, and it almost felt like filler, rather than an actual plot point. Still, that didn't detract from this heartfelt holiday story. I recommend to all readers who enjoy a clean, wholesome holiday romance.

Virginia McCullough is thrilled to share her eighth Harlequin Heartwarming release with readers. The Doc’s Holiday Homecoming, available November 29th, is the second book in her Back to Adelaide Creek series. Like all of Virginia’s romances, this holiday story comes straight from the heart and features characters who could be your neighbors and friends struggling with everyday life issues.

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia spent years as a ghostwriter, producing more than one hundred books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell. She’s moved around a lot, and a few years ago she landed in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where she enjoys hanging out with other romance writers, walking on trails, and downing mugs of dark roast at local coffeehouses. Her other award-winning romance and women’s fiction titles include The Jacks of Her Heart, Amber Light, and The Chapels on the Hill. Virginia is always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

Virginia McCullough will be awarding a $50 Etsy Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thank you so much for stopping by.


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

A LITTLE BIT OF LUST by Author Shirley Goldberg **Review Tour** **Goddess Fish Promotions**

Notes from a Romantic's Heart is pleased to welcome back author Shirley Goldberg. Today we'll be taking a look at Shirley's new romantic comedy, A Little Bit of Lust, book 3 of her Starting Over series. You can find all the stops on Shirley's tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Also, don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win a $30 gift card. The entry form is at the bottom of this post.

GENRE: Romantic Women's Fiction
Love-cynical Lucy Bernard delights in her independence. Baking, all things Instagram, the occasional fling, and most of all hanging out with best friends Deon Goldbloom and Phoebe Karis. But when Deon kisses Lucy at the beach on a chilly afternoon, the two friends jump into a lust-filled romantic weekend. So what’s with slotting her into "ignore" status afterward? Too embarrassed to confide in Phoebe, she silently buries the humiliation.

Deon Goldbloom is a widower who can’t move on after his wife's death. Is he a little crazy spending a sexy few days with Lucy and calling it the best time he’s had in four years? Yeah. Except blue Monday comes calling, and Deon isn’t ready for the guilt.

Lucy wonders how a smoochy weekend turns into a friends-with-benefits disaster. And Deon wonders if he’s made the biggest mistake of his life. Using all his nerdy charms, he launches a campaign to bring Lucy around. Maybe they can chart a course back to one another if Lucy will only forgive him.

Pre-Order on Amazon for December 7th delivery.
Also available on Apple and B&N

Deon and Lucy wandered through the store to the missy department, jammed with displays and sale racks. What to wear on her Marcus date? A dress or jeans? She could use Deon’s advice, but something told her he was in no mood for anything Marcus.

He stopped at a rounder of sleeveless, scoop neck tops in jewel colors. “Pink.” He chose a top from the rack. “This is you.”

She held it against her chest. “Good color for me?”

“That guy Steve was totally flirting.”

“You think? Should I go for it?” Casual tone with an ah-hah on the inside. Her spine tingled realizing Deon noticed their flirtation. And he was irked. He had no right. She’s the one who should be irked.

“Depends.” He frowned. “He’s an actor. How long’s he in town for?” His hand scraped his cheek. “I know you’re pissed at me. Ever since that weekend––”

“Me?” She flipped the price tag on the pink top and her eyebrows shot up in exaggerated surprise. Pissed at Deon? Sure, but she wouldn’t admit it, not to him. “You have good taste.”

“I’m sorry about––”

“Expensive good taste.” Whatever Deon felt he needed to say, she wasn’t revisiting old wounds.

“Lucy, don’t make me come over there.” An attempt at humor, followed by a hangdog look of regret. “Look, I want to talk to you about…can we talk later? At dinner?”

“Of course. Why wouldn’t we? We always talk at dinner.”

“You maintain price is no object,” Deon teased, deftly dropping the subject. “A good fit is everything, right?” He moved closer and cupped her chin. “I’m dead serious. About talking.”

She twisted away. So this is how he wants to play it. Seriously, a talk? After the Ignore thing, what more could he possibly say? She wasn’t sure she wanted dinner with Deon after all. “Did I say price is no object?” She pulled out a short black dress and danced it on the hanger. “This is cute.”

“Nice. You don’t wear much black. Try it on,” he urged. “Try them both on.”

In the dressing room, Lucy smiled in the mirror. Deon was acting ultra nice, like he had an agenda. Weird. Close dancing at O’Donahue’s and those long looks she’d caught him giving her in her kitchen a week ago. Mixed messages, definitely.

The pink top showed off her shoulders. At $118.00, it was no bargain, but why did everything have to be on sale? She wasn’t her mother, the ultimate bargain shopper. She wanted this sexy little top so Deon could picture her in it later. With Marcus.

The pink top has punctum.

The word came back to her, a surprise. Punctum, the word Deon used a while ago on the beach while they were taking photos. When he’d kissed her for the first time.

☆☆4 Stars☆☆

As with all the Shirley Goldberg books I've read, A Little Bit of Lust, had me laughing out loud. A wonderfully written story of friendship, discovery, and reinvention. I loved the relationship between Lucy, Deon, and Phoebe. It was fun, open, and (eventually) once Deon fessed up to his true feelings, honest.

I'm a sucker for friends-to-lovers romances, and this one definitely didn't disappoint. The banter between the main characters is witty and believeable, as is both their reluctance to take their friendship to the next level. All in all, a fun story that will please any fan of romantic women's fiction.

Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website offers a humorous look into dating in mid-life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. A Little Bit of Lust is her third book in the series Starting Over, although all her books are standalone. Her character believes you should never leave home without your sense of humor and Shirley agrees.

Shirley Goldberg will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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